Animal Lord (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||We were hunting when out of nowhere we were attacked by some strange creature; half man, half beast.||”|
|—Somnia, Human Expert|
A rustle of leaves in an otherwise silent forest alerted Somnia and Nevin that they were not alone. A wolf stepped out onto the trail, silhouetted by moonlight. An eerie sense of uneasiness washed over them. Nevin gripped the hilt of his sword and slowly backed away from the piercing eyes of the beast, while Somnia stood petrified. Suddenly the wolf let out a howl, and Nevin turned to run, only to find himself face to face with a creature, the shape of a man, but with the eyes of a wolf. A moment later, Nevin was dropped, lying in a quickly forming pool of his own blood. As fast as the stranger appeared, he left, letting out a howl of his own as he sprinted into the darkness. Horrified, Somnia carried Nevin's body home, and vowed to never enter those woods again.
Animal lords are masters of the wilderness, hunters and woodsman who commune with wolves to a supernatural degree. Through supreme dedication to their pack, an animal lord gains super-human power, and faithful wolf allies. While some choose this life to help their wolf friends, and protect their forests from enterprising kingdoms, others use this power to their own end.
Becoming an Animal Lord
|Alignment:||Neutral good, lawful neutral, true neutral, chaotic neutral or neutral evil.|
|Skills:||Handle Animal 4 ranks, Knowledge (Nature) 2 ranks, Survival 4 ranks|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Wolf Magic, Wolf Empathy|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Lesser Aspect of the Wolf, Forest Stalker|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Animal Companion, Summon Wolfkin|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Improved Wolf Magic|
|6th||+6||+5||+5||+2||Greater Aspect of the Wolf|
|8th||+8||+6||+6||+2||Call of the Wild|
|Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)|
Climb (Str), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str)
Animal Lords are proficient with light and medium armor as well as martial weapons.
Wolf Magic (Sp): At first level, an animal lords may choose 3 spells listed below and use each 3 times a day, with caster level equal to his animal lord level.
- Know Direction
- Magic Fang
- Calm Animals
- Charm Animals
- Detect Animals or Plants
- Detect Snares and Pits
- Hide from Animals
- Speak with Animals
Wolf Empathy (Sp): A first level, an animal lord can speak with wolves, werewolves, worgs, and other related wolfkin. Furthermore, an animal lord receives an additional +4 charisma bonus when talking to wolves, werewolves, worgs, and other related wolfkin.
Lesser Aspect of the Wolf (Su): At second level an animal lord begins his transition into a beast. As a standard action, he can turn into a hybrid of a wolf and humanoid. While in this hybrid form, he gains a primary 1d8 bite attack and 2 secondary 1d6 claw attacks. His base land speed is increased by +10 feet, and he gets a +2 Natural Armor bonus. As a standard action, he can turn back into his normal humanoid form.
Forest Stalker (Sp): At second level, while in a natural setting, an animal lord can move silently at full speed without any penalty and can choose to not leave any trace.
Animal Companion (Ex): At third level, animal lords gains an animal companion which functions as the druid's animal companion. An animal lord may only select a wolf or dire wolf as his animal companion. The animal lord's effective Druid level is equal to his character level -2 for calculating the HD and other bonuses of the animal companion.
Summon Wolfkin (Ex): At third level, once per day, an animal lord can use Summon Nature's Ally "X" to summon wolves or dire wolves, where "X" equals half his ECL, rounded down.
Improved Wolf Magic (Sp): At level six animal lords may spontaneously cast any of the following spells a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier:
- Greater Magic Fang
- Mass Charm Animals (Mass Charm Monster, but affects only creatures with the "Animal" type)
- Bull's Strength
Greater Aspect of the Wolf (Su): An animal lord has total mastery over his animal form. As a standard action, he can turn into a large wolf. While in wolf form, his weapons, armor, and gear meld into his skin, no longer providing any benefits. When in wolf form he gains a +6 to natural armor, DR 5/-, and a 2d8 bite attack. His base land speed increases by +20ft and he gains a +2 to both Reflex and Fortitude saves. He can use the special attack Trip. He may take a standard action to turn back into his standard humanoid form, or a move action to turn into his hybrid form. Likewise, he may turn from his hybrid form to his wolf form as a move action. An animal lord cannot cast any spells while in his wolf form unless he has the Natural Spell feat.
Call of the Wild (Su): An animal lord can loose a frightening howl. A number of times per day equal to his con modifier, the animal lord can howl, causing all enemies within earshot to become frightened for 2d4 rounds unless they make a Will save DC 10 + Animal Lord level + Con Modifier. Those who make their save are only shaken for 2d4 rounds. Creatures can only be affected by one howl every 24 hours.
Apex Predator (Ex): At this point the animal lord is less man than he is beast. While he retains his generally humanoid shape, his features become wolf-like. His senses become sharper and keener, giving a permanent +2 bonus to spot, listen, Hide, Move Silently, and Survival skill checks. He gets DR 3/- when in his human and hybrid form. He also gains Low-Light vision in all forms. If the animal lord already has low light vision from another source, the range is increased by half. He also gainsScent as an extraordinary ability in all forms. The animal lord's type changes to Magical Beast and is no longer affected by spells that would normally affect humanoids such as charm person.
Playing an Animal Lord
Combat: Most animal lords rush into melee combat, with their wolf instincts kicking in. They fight ruthlessly, both armed and unarmed. Raw strength and the ability to take heavy damage makes them excellent tanks and front-liners.
Advancement: Most Animal lords have some sort of nature-related base class. Most are druids or rangers, but fighter and barbarians also can be included in the animal lord ranks.
Resources: There are two major types of animal lords; lone wolves, and those in a wolf pack. Lone wolves tend to stick to their own, relying on only themselves. While strong in their own right, they are not as powerful as the teamwork of a wolf pack. Teamwork between rangers, druids, and animal lords often leads to powerful guilds. Animal lords can usually find a kindred spirit in a local druid collective.
Animal Lords in the World
|“||A bond with a wolf is more lasting than the ties of this earth will ever be.||”|
|—Lorenz Canini, Human Fighter/Animal Lord|
NPC Reactions: Animal lords tend to be champions of the wilderness, and are second to none in their element. Because of this, many rural towns and small woodland hamlets respect animal lords for the true power they wield. In larger cities, animals lords don't excel. Most animal lords are uncomfortable in larger cities and tend to avoid them, however.
Animal Lord Lore
Characters with ranks in Gather Information or Knowledge (Nature) can research animal lords to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Some say Animal Lords can talk with wolves.|
|16||Animal lords can become the animal they love so much.|
|21||Many people mistake werewolves with evil animal lords.|
|26||Succeeding a knowledge check of this DC lets you know the name and possible location of an animal lord.|
Animal Lords in the Game
Adaptation: Animal lords might be hunters or trappers who were lost in the woods, and survived only because of a pack of wolves. Alternatively, there are countless stories of children being abandoned in the woods, and subsequently being raised by wolves. Finally, some animal lords might be typical druids with an intense love of wolves.
Sample Encounter: Stepping out of the dark copse of trees is a man with a wild look in his eyes. He turns to you, teeth glinting in the moonlight and then pounces.